Summer tennis is in full-flight and the first Masters 1000 event of the summer hard court season is here! Who will win and who will fall at the Rogers Cup in Montreal? Read on to find out! (We also have predictions for plenty more Montreal matches, don’t worry.)
ATP Montreal Rogers Cup Day 1 Predictions
Peter Polansky vs Gael Monfils
Head to Head: Never Played
Peter Polansky and Gael Monfils battle for a spot in the second round of the Rogers Cup. Polansky, a wild card, has had middling results playing hard court Challengers this fall. Polansky has went 5-4 in Challenger hard court events this summer and will need to significantly improve his level in order to compete with Monfils. Monfils has not played since retiring in the first round of Wimbledon against Ugo Humbert. There is certainly some uncertainty with how he will do in his first tournament back, although Polansky is a good draw.
These two have never played before. Polansky is not getting consistent results on the Challenger Tour nowadays, while Monfils’ fitness is in question. This makes for an unpredictable match. However, if Monfils is in the draw, I am going to assume that he is reasonably healthy. He’s such a great counterpuncher, and can get to so many balls, that this could frustrate Polansky. Monfils should also be directing a lot of balls to the Polansky backhand, as this sided can break down when under duress. Expect Monfils to pull this match out, as Polansky can’t keep a high enough level.
Prediction: Monfils in 2
Jan-Lennard Struff vs Jo-Wilfred Tsonga
Head to Head: 3-1 Tsonga
Jan-Lennard Struff battles Jo-Wilfred Tsonga in the first round of the Rogers Cup in Montreal. Struff is 1-2 since Wimbledon and 0-1 on hard courts. He lost to Jordan Thompson in his first match in Washington. Tsonga is 2-1 since Wimbledon, winning a couple rounds in Washington, including beating Karen Khachanov before falling to Kyle Edmund in three sets.
Tsonga leads the head to head 3-1, although Struff won their most recent meeting in 2017 on the indoor hard courts of St. Petersburg. Struff is having a breakout year, although his momentum has slowed since the French Open. Tsonga’s win over Khachanov was very encouraging, although he couldn’t back it up with a win over Edmund in his next match. This will be a serve-dominant, hard-hitting match where there will likely be few chances to break serve. Tsonga previously won the Rogers Cup in 2014 in Toronto and I just trust him more in the bigger moments in this match.
Prediction: Tsonga in 3
Laslo Djere vs Cristian Garin
Head to Head: 1-0 Djere
Laslo Djere and Cristian Garin duel in Montreal at the Rogers Cup. Djere has only played on clay since Wimbledon, going 2-2. Djere has only won three matches on hard courts all season, going 1-5 in his last five matches on hard. Christian Garin has lost his last seven matches overall and his last four matches on hard courts. Garin has played once on hard courts since Wimbledon, losing in three sets to Juan Ignacio Londero.
Djere leads the head to head 1-0, beating Garin in three sets at a clay court Challenger in 2017. With both players’ struggles on hard courts, it is hard to predict this match. Djere will be looking to attack with his forehand, while Garin’s backhand can be very dangerous. However, given Garin’s losing streak, and the low confidence that comes from such a streak, it’s hard to predict him to win this match. Djere wins, but it will be tight.
PredictionL Djere in 3
Stan Wawrinka vs Grigor Dimitrov
Head to Head: 5-4 Wawrinka
Stan Wawrinka takes on Grigor Dimitrov in the first round of the Rogers Cup in Montreal. Wawrinka has not played a single match since Wimbledon and has not played on a hard court since losing in his first match in Miami. However, the former Australian Open and US Open champion should not take long to re-adjust to the surface. Dimitrov has gone 1-2 since Wimbledon, losing in the first round of Atlanta and the second round of Los Cabos. Dimitrov’s game is a bit of a mess right now, as he’s very inconsistent and low in confidence. A win over a player like Wawrinka would do him a lot of good.
Wawrinka leads the head to head 5-4 and has won the last three meetings, only dropping one set in those matches. Both players have beautiful one-handed backhands, although Wawrinka’s is more reliable and harder to break down. Dimitrov is really struggling to consistently win matches and it’s hard to trust him here. Wawrinka wins.
Prediction: Wawrinka in 2
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